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Breezy Point accepting letters of interest for vacant council seat

The Breezy Point City Council will accept letters of interest for an open council seat until 4:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9. The council then will consider appointing a council member at a meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16.

The need to appoint a council member arose when Scott Willer resigned his seat effective in November because he moved out of the area. The council expressed its gratitude for Willer’s years of service and wished him well.

City administrator Joe Rudberg told the council members they are not held to only those who submit a letter of interest, nor is the council bound to select a person who ran in the last election.

The position will be on the 2014 election ballot as well.

Public safety

Police had 207 calls in November, including 90 traffic related, five traffic arrests, 24 assist other agency, eight alarms, 16 animal related calls, four accidents, three thefts, one fire and 48 miscellaneous.

In other business Monday, the council:

• Scheduled an open house for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, and a public hearing for 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 6, for proposed sewer improvements and paving for Creek Circle and portions of Whitebirch Drive.

Cost estimates total $194,000 for road improvements and $217,000 for sanitary sewer improvements. Costs to be assessed are estimated at $10,375 per unit for both sewer and street paving.

The projects are just proposed at this point and not approved. The city will offer on its website a way for residents to comment on this project.

• Agreed to an early redemption on 2005 and 2008 improvement bonds, paying them off in February 2014 for a savings of $173,202. That includes an upfront payment from the sewer fund of $251,578.

• Agreed to make a contract offer to Heartland Animal Rescue Team (HART) after negotiating with the Brainerd animal shelter. HART raised its boarding fees from $14 to $16 per day. It kept the administrative fee at $1.50 per capita until next year, but using 2010 census figures of 2,346, that fee rises to $3,519 — a 235 percent increase for Breezy Point. HART previously used a population number of 979.

The city had budgeted $6,000 for animal control services in 2014, which includes a separate contract for animal control (dog catcher) services.

The city’s finance committee — noting that the city set its budget in September — proposed a contract with HART that shows administrative fees for 2014 at $2,824 (a split difference between current and proposed amount) and 2015 at $4,179 ($1.75 fee per capita using the most current population figure of 2,388).

The council will make that offer to HART, though council members Diane Williams and Otto Schmid said the fees were steep for what the city receives.

• Renewed liquor licenses with Schmid opposed.

• Changed the name of Dakota Drive to Percheron Circle.

• Accepted two donations of $5,000 each toward the Fishing Boardwalk from the Pelican Lakes Conservation Club (PLCC). With one donation coming in 2013 and the other in 2014, the Parks and Recreation Committee seeks to move the project up for construction from 2015 to 2014. The council expressed appreciation for all that PLCC does for the city.

• Agreed to accept a $4,600 bid from St. Cloud State University, the Minnesota Highway Safety and Research Center for the city’s 2008 Crown Victoria squad car, which would be used in a driver’s safety training program for police officers. The money will come as $3,600 in cash and $1,000 credit for training. Two Breezy Point officers need the training this year.